Gone Viral

monster-426995_1920A couple of weeks ago, I came down with some sort of virus.  You know the kind, lack of energy, and just wanting to sleep.  With it came several days of internal rumbling and not too interested in putting food inside me.  Had no resulting weight gain, damn it.  It’s still lingering and I’m getting a bit depressed.

Or maybe it is just because summer is coming to an end.

Maybe I need some sunshine.  I could go outside, lie down on the sectional and take a nap.  Then I’d likely wake up with a sunburn on half my body, a-la Close Encounters.  (Please say you remember the scene when Richard Dreyfus looks out the window of his truck and, um, “sees the light”.)  I take vitamin D, so I don’t think I’m lacking there.  But then, sunshine always makes me happy.

Whatever the cause, isn’t it interesting the things our bodies do in response to an internal threat?  Often far better than the anti-virus software in your computer.  Without getting graphic, it is rather astonishing how the body goes into all-out war in eliminating the monster that invaded it.  I, and likely many others, am not very patient during the siege.  It takes a lot of effort to fight viral take-overs and the body likes to shut you down during the process.  I’m torn between sleeping and weeping.  Yesterday, I went shopping for a couple of hours, came home and washed the car, and I was just done for the day.  WTF.

It’s that time of year when viruses start gearing up for an attack.  Kids go back to school and we all know that is one gigantic bacteria factory.  You go to the doctor’s office and you get sick just breathing the air around the building.  Last year, my sweetie and I managed to avoid catching anything.  Yay!  I attribute that to our twice daily dosing of vitamins D, C, zinc sulfate and turmeric.  I had a bit of a sniffle in February, but it died off in a few days.

We owe it to ourselves and our Creator to take care of our bodies.  Eating well, sleeping, vitamins, exercise, play, relaxation and mindfulness.  Figure out what works best for your body and not just what someone else says.  Life is meant to be enjoyed and taking care of yourself contributes greatly to this.  Because if you don’t, you’ll end up with some mutated germ that wipes out half the planet.

And then you won’t be able to post some amazing video that Goes Viral.  You know, like that cat. . .

Fall-ing

autumn-1655915_1920Summer is giving its last big push before giving way to Fall.  There is still warmth in the air, yet a crispiness to the edges of the breeze that speaks to cooler days ahead.  Flowers are blossoming riotously, vivid colors, as though to give up their very last gift before collapsing spent into the mulch.  Leaves compete with the blossoms with rich tones of yellow, orange and red.  The smells of chlorine and coconut oil are diminishing to be replaced by the smoky scent of fireplaces.  It’s quieter outside as children return to the classroom and summer festivals are packed up and moved back to indoor venues.

summer-814679_1920Oh, how I love summer, sunshine and fun every day.  I feel a sadness deep within as I, too, give way to the tug of Fall and the time of turning inward.  And the inevitable demands of winter cold and snow.

Fall is a time to savor the dreams we worked to achieve.  We birth them in Spring, nurture and grow through the lazy days of Summer and harvest what we have sown in the autumn season.  As difficult as it is to let loose of summer, it is equally so to release the nurturing of our dreams.  Harder still to move into winter, where we along with our dreams, must hunker down to focus on the next stage.

Everything has its seasons, including our dreams.

poolWe must look at Fall as truly a time of harvest.  What joy, what gifts came with summer that we can ripen and grow into something bigger?  If summer was full of fun, how do we continue to pull more of that into our lives?  The clues are all there if you are willing to take the time to look and see what brought you the most joy.  I learned many things this summer.  Where I live, what provides both fun and relaxation, what activities are readily and easily available, and how I want to live my life.  I think this has been the best summer I have experienced for all these things. 

And as the leaves begin to crackle beneath my feet, and the chill in the air reminds me of the approach of winter, I don’t mind too much because I know that next summer will be even better.  So bring on the harvest, I’m ready to Fall-in.

Be-Labored

bees-44503_1280Tomorrow is Labor Day in the U.S., a day when we celebrate and honor all of those who bust their a$$ on a daily basis to get sh*t done.  If there weren’t people around who get sh*t done, we’d still be roasting rodents over a fire in a cave.

The reality is that Labor Day is just another reason for people to roast things on their grills and drink a lot of alcohol.  Yes, you know you will.  I would be too, except I’ve had a little tummy virus for a few days and it’s enough to find food that my tummy will tolerate.

You have probably heard the expression: are you working to live or living to work?  That is certainly thought provoking, but I really think we do both.  You work to have the means to obtain things you need or want: food, shelter, clothing, shoes, we all have a list.  You could be working and doing something you absolutely love and enjoy doing, which will also enable you to obtain those things.  If you are doing something you don’t like, but it also enables you to obtain those things is it really that bad?  But what if you are doing something you hate and it doesn’t get you anything?  You have to ask yourself, “why?”

Everyone works, whether it is for enjoyment, for money, for caretaking, or any other reason.  Even people that sit on their a$$ all day and seemingly do nothing except maybe complain, well that takes work too.  They are very busy conjuring up excuses as to how busy they think they are.  That’s very tiring.  And then they have to keep all those excuses straight in their head so they don’t get caught in their denial.

Some people have a hard time not working.  They can’t sit still, they can’t watch TV, they can’t simply be a lazy slug for an hour.  Hell, they probably even work in their sleep.  I’m kind of one of those people, however, I have been training myself to make time to do the occasional mindless thing.  And you know what?  I feel better and I still get sh*t done.  And when you get sh*t done, life moves on.

Here’s to all the worker bees and wanna-bees – try bee-ing one.

Your Body, Your Choice

 

clothes-2029337_1280If you follow my blog, you know that I write about emotional issues and beliefs, many of which are from personal experience.  I pose challenging questions in the hopes that you think about them and make changes so you can live your best life.  I wish that for everyone and that is what we are here for.

This time, I am asking you to challenge your beliefs.  It is a very controversial subject, but one that is near-and-dear to me both personally and professionally.

It is the choice of when to have or not have a baby.

Babies are very precious.  They bring much needed light and life to the world and teach us that humans are amazing.  Because they are so precious, they deserve to be born into a family that is ready and able to give them the love and care they need to thrive.

Human beings are biologically wired to have sex, which can lead to procreation.  Males are wired to have it quickly and often.  Females take their time to choose the best mate.  Increasing the vitality of the herd, so to speak.  The human component of this is a loving family.

Biology rules, in spite of our denial of it.  The moment we start producing hormones, the urge to mate begins.  I’m sure that the global impact of media and entertainment can stimulate this somewhat prematurely, but nothing stops biology.  Certainly not denial.  It is important to acknowledge this.  Acknowledge what might be happening.  That preteen, supposedly studying with a friend in their bedroom while you are snoozing during the evening news.  The college student, far away from home for the first time, is lonely and goes to a party with friends.  The adult, emotionally battered from a neglected childhood, equating love with sex.  And the list goes on.

The biggest gift you can give your child is teaching them the facts of biology and how to respect and honor their body.  Their body, their choice.  Teach them that No is a complete sentence.  Teach them to respect someone else’s no and move on.  Teach them to protect their body from disease or unintended pregnancy.  Teach them to honor someone else’s decision to protect their body.  Your child is precious.

The argument is that a baby is a gift from Spirit.  Well, absolutely.  No argument there.

I truly believe that Spirit created human bodies with unconditional love.  We are placed upon Earth with Free Will choice in order to experience life and grow our spirit.  The ultimate goal is to live our best life, give and receive love, and find our way back to Spirit.  If all of this is true, and Spirit gifted us with Free Will Choice, doesn’t that mean we get to decide when to have, or not have, a baby?  Isn’t honoring your body a Thank You to Spirit for its creation?

If instead we believe that this is entirely up to Spirit, why would Spirit allow a baby to be born into an abusive home with possibly fatal consequences?  If we exercised our free will choice, then isn’t that like protecting the baby prior to its conception?

Babies are precious.

This subject has deep personal meaning to me.  If my birth parents had the resources to protect their bodies, I wouldn’t be here.  I am okay with that.  I may have, instead, been born into a loving home and not had to spend most of my life struggling to resolve the emotional damage from my present life.  My mother was a teenager when I was born.  She missed graduation and all the other fun things of teenage and young adult life.  Her boyfriend, my father, was older – an adult – and chose not to give up his lifestyle for family life.  I held little interest for him since I wasn’t a boy.  Three lives have been impacted by not having a choice.  Well, I suppose I wouldn’t be trying to help others if I hadn’t had that experience.

Professionally, I am at the front lines of the consequences of unintended pregnancies.  I work for a government social services agency.  Thankfully, I handle money and not directly interact with clients – it would break my heart.  Each month, we experience these results.  Each year it costs more and we receive less funding to provide services.  We treat sexually transmitted infections, dispense planning methods, do cervical cancer screenings, process paternity tests, accept child support payments, authorize public assistance payments to families who can’t afford to feed their growing family and much more.  The numbers keep growing and the costs go up.  We rescue babies and children from homes where the parents struggle with substance abuse, have mental health issues, incur sexual abuse, bring violence into the home that may result in a fatality.  There are too many children in foster homes.  These homes are expensive.  Some of these children never return to their birth family.  Some of them may get adopted by a loving family, but even then, a few are returned to foster care because the new family cannot cope with the severe emotional and behavioral issues of the children.  It tears at my heart to see these numbers growing.  When and where does it stop!!!

Denial will not stop it.  Celibacy will not stop it.  Incarceration will not stop it.

It stops where it begins.  Your Body, Your Choice.

Honor and respect your body by making the choice.  Honor and thank Spirit for your body by making the choice.  But most of all, honor the babies and children by letting them be born to someone who is ready and capable of loving and caring for them.

Because. . .babies are precious.

 

For Kathy B: It is not how many you reach, but reaching the one who gets the message.  For each one who does, the energy will radiate out and multiply.  Many Blessings.

My Mother, My Body, My Self

mother-1327186_1280My mother was mean and fat.  I suppose she had her reasons.  I was born to her when she was a teenager, unable to graduate with her high school class, and the subject of scorn from many.  Self-hatred can cause you to pack on pounds in an effort to deflect other’s criticism.

I swore I would never be like my mother.

I never grew fat, just slightly chubby during difficult periods in my life, but always managed to ditch those few extra pounds when happiness was more prevalent in my life.  But I absorbed my mother’s dissatisfaction in other ways.

I became her punishment.

She told me once, “never get pregnant or you’ll ruin your life”.  I suppose, then, that I had ruined her life.  Her self-hatred ran deep, and so I spent the better part of my life attempting to appease her.  Wasted effort.  Once I gave up, my life changed in dramatic ways.

Shame and blame are guilt trips that are all too easy to fall into.  It takes courage, it takes strength, and it takes total compassion for yourself and your struggles to dig out of the rut of shame and blame.  My mother never got there.  She might still be in that place, but I don’t know as we no longer speak.

I still hate her on occasion.  I would guess that’s normal.  When my thighs get fat, I hate her.  When I stand with my hands on my hips, I hate her.  Sometimes we mimic our mother’s body to heal the pain of rejection.

I am not my mother’s body.

When I see these aspects appear, they just remind me of the wounds left behind.  They remind me of my struggle to create my own identity and not the one my mother impressed upon me.  And as each day goes by, and I allow my wants, my needs, and the desires of my true self thrust outward like a seedling in fresh mulch every piece of my mother’s rejection drops into my arms like a newborn greeting the world.

Like Phoenix rising from the ashes.

And knowing this, I wrap my arms around those injured bits of my soul, and tell myself that I am Loved and I am Cared For.  And I smile as I watch shame and blame fade away.

You’re Not Good Enough

hand-1923005_1920What?  Why not?  This is usually our first response.  But maybe, the best response is “for what?”

What is “not good enough?”  Most of the time it is someone else’s expectation of us.  Are they right?  And if they are, should you really be worried about that?  Yeah, maybe, if they are paying you for your performance.  You could have an off day or you are ill, but they should give you a break for that.  If you are consistently not up to the expectations they have outlined for you, well then, you probably aren’t good enough.  But you might be good enough for someone else.

And you are damn sure good enough for you.

Always remember that the Creator made you and you were absolutely good enough then, so why wouldn’t you be now?

Expectations.  Others, of course, but really of yourself.  How many times do you let yourself down, because you don’t think you are good enough or capable enough?  Do you start with the self-expectation that you aren’t, so you somehow sabotage your efforts to prove yourself right?

How would that change if you believed, or just known, that you could do something?  If that is true, you are most likely already there and don’t even think about it.

Expectations can push us or punish us.  They should push us and make us want to grow, to change, to be better than we were the day before.  Expectations should help others strive too.  Rather than punishing someone for not meeting our expectations, tell them how you feel.  “I don’t like it when you don’t pick up after yourself.  The room looks dirty and cluttered.  I get tired because I feel like I have to pick up your stuff.”  Rather than telling them they are stupid or lazy or dictating that they have to do something, you are bringing it back to how you feel.  Sharing your feelings is healthy and gives the other person the opportunity to do better.

And then they can change their expectations and see that they are good enough.

Kickoff

football-1488156_1920Football season has begun.  The first pre-season game has been played and many of the players, as well as some of the coaches, are wondering what their future holds.  A crowd-pleasing punt return; the dejection of an intercepted pass; or the season-ending injury will change the tide for many.

We are still in the midst of summer so the tantalizing smell of grilled meat fills the air.  The “splursh” of a pop-top can spreads the yeasty scent of beer.  Chlorine, coconut oil and wet dog hair.  The sounds of summer echo with the squealing giggles of children playing.  Summer is for play, whether you are a big kid or small.  It is no wonder the game of football begins in the middle of summer.

braai-2572725_1920Football games can change the mood of traffic.  Fortunes are won and lost on chancy bets.  Big money rolls through the NFL in the form of salary caps, signing bonuses and the inevitable Super Bowl commercials.  How many Clydesdales have marched across the television screen?

We worry and stress over the players lives and the weekly games as much as we worry about what to have for dinner.  And forget that football is just a game to entertain us on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  It’s not much different than watching “The Voice” or “American Idol”.  Relax, football friends, I’m not picking on football, just making a comparison.  I get all edgy, too, when I watch the Broncos.

football-801047_1280So why do we get all twisted up when we watch a football game?  The action and suspense, of course.  And then there is the beauty of watching a pack of incredible physical specimens do amazing things with their bodies.  Football [and its European counterpart, soccer] is an enjoyable diversion in our lives.  When some strong-armed guy launches a football downfield and a speed demon latches onto it with one hand, tucks it into his chest and runs hell-bent for leather to a touchdown. .  . well, it’s pretty easy to forget all about the big report you have to write the next day.  Or maybe when you have to kick-off a big project, you’ll have that touchdown in mind and the process just might seem a little easier.

I say, go for the two-point conversion and maybe you’ll get a bonus.  It might be just enough to go and see your favorite team play in the Super Bowl.

Walk This Way

rundmc-aerosmith[1]Aerosmith or Run DMC with Aerosmith?

Either one, the message is still “move your a$$”.  Walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your well-being, especially if you can get out and connect with nature.

man-1225488_1920During my work week, I take a half hour walk at lunchtime.  Beyond the exercise, it gets me out of my chair and out of the building.  The first five minutes are a bit stiff-legged and my feet are tender.  Sometimes my thoughts match that movement. Then the blood flow kicks in, joints get lubricated and most all of the pain and stiffness goes away.  There are two ponds located near my building, with a variety of birds, a few turtles and an occasional muskrat.  Just moving past water drops my stress level.  If I tune into the sights, smells and sounds of nature my thoughts slow down and make room for the Universe to give me suggestions for problem-solving.  A bonus, for sure.

nature-243483_1920Yesterday, I battled with a database not giving me the information I needed.  I fussed with it for a half hour and it resisted.  So I went for a walk.  My thoughts calmed down as I enjoyed the beautiful day.  And then, lo and behold, I heard a voice in my head [that would be the Universe, not a psychotic episode] tell me to delete the problem data and re-enter it.  When I went back to working on it, I did that, and . . . you can guess the results.  Bingo!

As I have gotten older, I have discovered that walking doesn’t necessary cause weight loss like it did in my younger years.  This seems to be a common complaint, especially amongst women.  I read an article about menopause that said when your estrogen drops your body looks for another place to find it.  Apparently, belly fat is a source of estrogen.  WTF.  Fat gut or hot flashes from h*ll.  I don’t think there is a choice.  I think sometimes your body gives you both as payback for all the abuse you’ve put it through.  You men don’t get hot flashes, but that beer gut might be replacing your lost testosterone.

Enough about guts and sweating to the oldies.

Walking is still one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Movement keeps you moving and as you move forward through life you will want to enjoy it as much as possible.  If nothing else, being able to walk to the bar to support your beer gut and avoid a DUI.

Slainte!

So Shoe Me

IMG_0117I love shoes.  I’ve written about them many times, probably more than anything else.  I guess I can’t help it.  I just love them.

I probably have too many.  Big Deal.

No one is starving because of my obsession with shoes.  If anything, the person who makes them is likely feeding their family from the proceeds.  I would like to think I am helping the economy.

The economy is like energy, there has to be a give and take flow in order for it to work.  When you buy shoes, or food, or cars, or homes or even just a pack of gum you are contributing to the flow.  When you go to work and create or support or provide service you are contributing to the flow.money-2159310_1920

Not doing any of those things merely stops up the energy like a two-year-old tossing a plastic dinosaur into the toilet.  I suppose that, too, contributes since you have to call a plumber to come dig Dino from the sewer.  Plumbers eat well because of two-year-olds and toys.

If you take something without an exchange or create harm, you might have to pay a fine, go to jail, or get sued.  All of which also stop the flow of energy.

By keeping the energy flowing, you create room in your life for more abundance, prosperity, success and just plain joy.  Allow yourself to receive and it will be easier to give.

Or just go buy a pair of shoes so someone can have a nice dinner with their family.

Money Is The Root of All Believe-il

money-2724241_1920Poverty conscious or abundance.  Which would you choose?  Well, duh, abundance.  Why wouldn’t you?  If your belief system is rooted in poverty or lack, abundance might not seem to be a choice.

It is and you can have abundance in your life, but first you have to change your beliefs.

What might be readily apparent in your life, such as always thinking you’ll never have enough money or you’ll never be able to get out of the situation you are in, can be changed.  Yes, it can.  You know the saying “what goes around, comes around”?  That is the key to changing your life to accept abundance.

What messages do you tell yourself?  Whether it is something you say out loud or just think, those messages become reality.  When you go to the grocery store, do you think “jeez, all I can afford is lousy mac and cheese”?  Nothing wrong with mac and cheese, it’s the thought of that’s all you can afford.  When you take your car in for new tires, do you think “jeez, these a$$holes overcharge me for everything”?  Now what do you think will happen with thoughts like that.  You will overpay for those tires.  What you put out there comes right back to you.

What if the message was “I am so grateful/happy I can provide for my family or myself with good food”.  Or “I am really glad I have new tires for my car so I can be safe on the road and drive it for a long time”.  What do you think happens then?  Your experience will change.  Take it one step further “I am really glad/happy/grateful that I have a nice grocery store [tire shop] nearby that offers good service and good prices.  The people there are really nice and helpful”.  How does your view of the situation change?

This is not about being fake, blowing sunshine up someone’s a$$, or winning the lottery the next day.  (The lottery might not be out of the question, if your belief system is structured that way.)  A simple, “I feel good about this situation” is all it takes.  Just a brief moment of sincerity can cause ripples of abundance to flow through the Universe and stream right back to you.

What goes around, comes around and quite often multiplied.

Pay attention to the garbage that rolls around in your head.  Consider it fertilizer, if you must, to grow a new garden of thoughts.  Try thanking yourself for getting good food at the grocery store, for having enough money to meet your needs.  Then thank the Universe for providing abundance in all forms.

And look around you and see all the abundance that you might have missed when you were agonizing over the mac and cheese.